I attended two workshops today at the SITE conference today. The first was a very practical workshop from Patrick Iglehart of St. Edwards University in Austin Texas that described the role of a Media Services department at a University and challenged the group to think of ways of integrating media into learning activities in courses. A few of the interesting ideas were:
1) digital storyboards in creative writing where students take digital pictures and then write a group story around the photo.
2) in a teacher education setting at the prior to the start of the school year, challenging teachers to find images on the internet, or to create their own that evoked a feeling that a student might have on the first day of class. Here’s an example. This way it would bring back to the forefront of the minds of both new, and seasoned, teachers the issues and feelings that students have on the first day of class. Exploring the power of an image to evoke feeling.
3) Critically analyzing video in a marketing class. Those beautiful Superbowl commercials can be examined with a critical eye and marketing themes can be extracted from them. Another neat extension of this was to also examine websites for the product showcased in the video. Question of congruency between marketing strategies in the video and the website could be addressed. Are the strategies similar or different? Complimentary or conflicting? Neat questions. More resopurces can be found at this link.
The second workshop was on ePortfolios. I must admit I have never explored the concept much so I was green going into this 3 hour session. But I learned a lot from the speakers, Drs. Helen Barrett and Joanne Carney, about the different kinds of ePortfolios: learning, employment, and assessment etc. It was also stressed in the process that reflection is the key item to a good ePortfolio exercise. It was argued that without reflection, the Portfolio is only a website, presentation, electronic resume, or scrapbook. The purpose is the difference: website=information while Portfolio=persuasion. They talked about blogs and wikis that could be used as part of ePortfolios. I really like this. I’m trying to design a learning activity for my Fundamentals of Teaching Adults course that might incorporate online journaling with a sharing and analysis/reflection component so this discussion was useful to me personally.
So the content should include evidence, reflection and validation. The purpose should be clear: assessment, employment or learning etc. The process should include tools, sequencing, rules, evaluation and collaboration. An overarching goal of this is also to try to get learners to own the material so they continue it throughout a programme of after a programme. Ownership was important because it intrinsically motivated the learner to produce better products. Be sure to check our Helen’s resources website where she has her “My Adventure with ePortfolios” link. She test drives 17+ products to create the same ePortfolio. Neat.
Another interesting side bar to Helen’s talk was the concept of Digital Storytelling or Narrative Inquiry (…whichever you prefer). Still photos with voice overs and music; the goal is to impart a feeling with these short pieces of work. This was a really neat way to unleash a student’s creativity. I think I might try to do one of these myself someday. I’ll have to find some cheap software to try. MovieMaker II, PhotoStory, Adobe Premiere Elements and Pinacle Studio were suggested for the PC platform.